Life is bad these days. The heart is hurt and can’t seem to heal. The fun has gone from the game and the passion is slipping. Roger Federer has been defeated by Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the QF of SW19. I hate all French men from now on !!!
Of course, everything but the last statement is true 😦
Once upon a time there was Hansel the brother and Gretel the sister. Their story of love, fun, captivity and escape from witch mesmerized me growing up. My brother means the world to me and I used to imagine how I would kill the witch if she ever so much as even laid a finger on him. The fact that it never happened is another matter 🙂 (one that I am thankful for, hope my brother stays safe and happy forever) !! But in the process I also got enchanted by the Black forest region of Bavaria, Germany. In my mind it was what its name and the Brothers Grimm tale denoted – a dense, dark and mysterious forest that can enchant as well as entrap. For many years, black forest remained as a scary little bit of land untill I came face to face with the cake version of it. Nothing like the image in my mind, this was a gorgeous partnership of chocolate, cherry and cream, made in heaven. So soft, sweet and seductive, it instantly became a favorite. It’s global appeal comes from its simple but classic ingredients and preparation. Today, black forest cake is one of the more popular fancy desserts going around, and for valid reasons too !
As you can imagine from the name, it originates from Germany, call ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte’. Kirsch is cherry liquor which is a traditional ingredient in this cake, especially In Germany. In fact, German stipulation does not allow labelling a cake as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte unless it has kirschwasser in it !!! But of course I am more of a convenient-alist than a traditionalist, which means I use Kirsch when I have it handy, else move to either rum or a simple cake syrup. Of course, kirsch just makes it that much better, but even the other versions are finger licking yummy! If you love this dessert, go ahead and give it a try. It is simple enough even for the first timer 🙂
1 recipe chocolate cake
16 Oz heavy whipping cream
20 Oz of maraschino cherries (you can also use fresh in season cherries but soak them in kirsch water or rum for at least 2 hours before hand)
4 tbsp kirsch (if you don’t have it, then use half a recipe of the cake assembly syrup)
Chocolate shavings for decorations
1. Prepare the cake as per instruction. Let it cool completely. If you chose to bake a single cake, then slice it in half horizontally. Shave the layers to make them as flat surface as you can (use a cake slicer or a bread knife with serrated edges to do this). SAVE the shaved layers.
2. Soak each layer with 2 tbsp of kirsch, using a pastry brush. Keep it aside.
3. Beat the heavy cream in a chilled container till it forms hard peaks. Divide the cream into 1/3rd and 2/3rd portions.
4. Place a layer of cake with the flat surface facing up. take 1/3rd of the cream and spread it evenly on the cake.
5. Take 2/3rd of the cherries place them uniformly over the cream. You may choose to chop these cherries in half for better effect.
6. Place the second layer of the cake on top, with the smoothest surface facing up.
7. Slather the rest of the whipped cream on the top and sides and frost it out cleanly. Put a lighter coating around the sides and a heavier one on top.
8. Coat the sides with the chocolate shavings. In case you dont have any chocolate shavings, here is a small trick. Remember the shaved cake scraps. Crumble them finely. Use that crumble to coat the sides over the cream frosting. It looks deceptively similar and tastes good enough.
9. Decorate the top with remaining cherries and chocolate curls or shavings if you want.
Go get the fork now 🙂